KLCI loses ground on weak foreign sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 8): The FBM KLCI ended lower for the second day in a row as weak foreign sentiment weighed down the market.

It lost 9.22 points or 0.5% to end at 1824.32, as stocks such as IHH Healthcare Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd declined.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd regional chartist Lee Cheng Hooi told theedgemalaysia.com that despite the dip, the KLCI registered a lower percentage loss compared to regional indices.

"Regionally, markets were weak following the Dow Jones Industrial Average's fall of 272.52 points last night. Hong Kong was also weaker today as IMF cut its global outlook forecast.

"American indices were also lower overnight on expectations that the coming 3Q2014 earnings would disappoint," he said.

On the selldown of oil & gas stocks, Lee said the local counters were following global price trends.

"Brent crude was as high at US$115.77 per barrel in June 2014 and has since declined to US$90.11 today, about a 22.2% decline over the last three months," he said.

O&G counters such as Uzma Bhd, SapuraKencana and Coastal Contracts Bhd and Icon Offshore Bhd saw extended losses on the market today, not only due to the decline in crude oil prices, but also as investors locked in profits ahead of the Budget 2015 announcement this Friday (Oct 10).

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.58 billion shares worth some RM2.49 billion traded. Decliners topped gainers at 935 over 93, while 175 counters remained untraded.

Top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd and PLS Plantations Bhd while leading decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and United Plantations Bhd.

The most active counter was Sumatec Resources Bhd.

In the region, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.19% while the Hang Seng Index dipped 0.68%.

According to Reuters, Asian share markets were mostly in the red as worries about waning global growth lifted safe-haven bonds, while shoving oil prices to their lowest in more than two years.

Extending a three-month-long decline, Brent oil sank US$1.18 to US$90.93 a barrel while U.S. crude tumbled US$1.07 to US$87.78.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1%, while Australia's main index lost 0.9%.